November 11, 2012

The bluebirds have left their nests. They’re still around {sitings are rare}, but the boxes are no longer in use. We like to clear those out for them so in April when they return, moving back in will be easy work. {It’s always a good feeling to open it up and find only the remains of a nest, not of a bird.} We have about half a dozen boxes around our yard and it’s not only the bluebirds that lay their eggs in there, but they are by far our favorite!

Next spring they’ll completely rebuild their nests. They live in open fields like ours for several reasons; as insect-eaters they like to have a long view of an area for bug catching. Posts and small trees are ideal for keeping lookout. They nest in boxes, {which are in essence a man-made solution} but they prefer holes in trees on the edges of woods made by other animals {like woodpeckers and squirrels} but a bluebird can’t create that themselves so naturally they look for abandoned holes in trees and when those are scarce a box like ours does the trick. It’s fun to watch them flit around from box to box checking out the space– when they do move in it’s cause for celebration. Oh the little joys!

Movie Talk

November 9, 2012

Recognize this? Did you see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen? I really liked it! The plot was slightly out there, but it all managed to become something wonderful. A wealthy sheik has a vision of bringing the authentic salmon fishing experience that he loves so much to his native Yemen. Emily Blunt’s character Harriet is charged with organizing those who can make it happen, like fisheries expert Fred, played by Ewan McGregor. Overall it’s a story about faith and love and possibilities. And there is romance. It is all so sweet. Just see it.

As an aside, I’m obsessed with the pants that Harriet wore while in Yemen. They were smart looking outdoor pants with a bit of style and she wore them gathered up at the calf {obsessed all right}.  That is my struggle– finding a great pant to hike and hang out in that isn’t my current ugly pair that I want to burn. By the time I was finished raving about them Luke said he thought he needed a pair!  I’m telling you…Yemen pants need to happen. {This is the only pic I could find.}

snow covered plans

November 8, 2012


Today we awoke to a snow covered ground. Most of us in the Northeast did. Something of a panic comes over me when the snow starts to fly; getting outside and getting together with friends becomes more of a concerted effort.  The best thing to do at this point is to plan fun winter-centric adventures {downhill and cross country skiing} and outdoor happenings {snow shoe and bonfire parties} because the worst thing you can do {hibernate, hide from the world} is so tempting when the temps are freezing and the sun sets around 5pm!

Right now there is talk of all of the above, and a monthly dinner night with a group of our local buds. Movie nights and sledding parties, too.  Pancake breakfasts should be on that list.  And of course the annual NYE Burn your Christmas Tree gathering at our place.  Hopefully that tradition continues. Right now winter doesn’t look so grim and I’m kind of looking forward to it!

Doesn’t this look like a great way to spend a wintery weekend evening?!

snowshoeing, snowshoeing, snowshoeing

Out and About

November 5, 2012

Over the weekend I packed each hour with good times and got out to play– had dinner with girlfriends at Boda {creative Thai deliciousness, just read this}, shopped for wedding gowns with my step-sister, mom, and crew {gorgeous girl, glamorous gowns}, Luke ‘got’ his deer and we hung it in the barn overnight {venison aplenty this winter!}, we hiked on a cool, tucked-away preserve with my father-in-law {fresh air, pretty sights} and had a yummy dinner prepared by my mother-in-law {pork, potatoes, & gravy–perfect for a cold fall day}.

Hope you all had a fun weekend, too!

Hunter Orange

October 31, 2012

It’s hunting and hiking season up here.  The woods have been ablaze with turning leaves and ‘Hunter Orange’.  When we share the woods at this time of year wearing some bright orange is a must for most areas. Unless, of course, it’s Sunday or you’re in a state park {no hunting then or there}. On any other day, in unprotected areas, I’d definitely wear something along these lines…

This is a classic, wear-it-every-hunting-season jacket to throw on for a safe hike from Hunter Boot:

Since bright shades of coral and orange have been on the fashion scene for awhile you can find everyday looks from stores like J.Crew that will take you from the streets to the trails {this would look great with the L.L. Bean ‘Cresta Hiker’ — a boot I’ve been wearing for the better part of ten years}:

Excursion quilted vest

For ease and comfort, a cozy fleece like this one from Patagonia is always a good choice:

Patagonia Mens R2® JacketCheck out these trees!  They are at their peak in this photo, but already the cycle is winding down and most of the leaves are on the ground– especially after Hurricane Sandy.  Things weren’t too rough around here, though. Mostly windy with bouts of heavy rain and temps in the 60’s.  Beats last year when we got a huge snow storm and Halloween was postponed. This year the trick-or-treaters are out in full force.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Welcome Back!

October 27, 2012

Hello, hello Everybody!  I have missed you via my blog!  This definitely warrants the singing of the theme song from Welcome Back Kotter {I always love to sing this to people when they’ve been away from work, or on vacation, etc:) Enjoy this trip down memory lane…you had to have watched this show, right?!

The nostalgia of  70’s shows like The JeffersonsThrees CompanyLaverne & Shirley, and Happy Days brings me back to my childhood.  My mom and I used to watch these shows together.  Love these memories:) Luke and I watch reruns of these shows when we happen to catch them.  The cool thing about t.v. is that while Luke and I grew up in different states, with differences in family dynamics, and school experiences, we still watched the same shows as little kids and you know how those formative days stay with you. The theme songs from these shows have definitely stayed with me– I bust them out often enough.

{The faces just sum it up!}

{Loved this version of the trio.}

{Not to forget Lenny & Squiggy!}

{The Fonz and crew.}

Has anyone noticed that not too long ago throwback shows on t.v. would include the above and Cheers, Beverly Hillbillies…nowadays Friends is on that line up which makes me feel old!  I watched that show in my 20’s. I had a laugh with a woman I know when she told me her young kids asked her if she’d ever seen Friends!  It’s probably so old news to them. I still watch that and Seinfeld reruns– and still haven’t found a current t.v. show to take their place.  Got any suggestions for me before I become a relic, stuck in the technicolor past?!

‘Pop up’ Birdbath

October 5, 2012

You know how some clothing brands have ‘pop up’ stores around big cities that are open for a week or so and then close down?  In smaller cities like Portland there are local versions of these ‘pop ups’, too. Last week we left our wheelbarrow out in the yard and it filled with rain creating a ‘pop up’ birdbath for the neighborhood beauties.  It must have been a welcome surprise to them!  Luke happened to catch sight of the bathers and got some great photos.  They made a splash!

Have a lovely weekend!

Somewhere in the past couple of fall seasons the poncho and the cape reemerged. How this happened I’m not even sure. I’m liking the hybrids out there like the one above by MICHAEL Michael Kors for $175.  The knit gives it a softer drape so it isn’t too overwhelming and the leather & gold toggle closures add some rich detail.  Right now sweaters are all about texture–found in the yarn like the marled version above, in the knit with mixed stitches and in the details like those toggles. I can imagine wearing this often, as a sweater coat at first, then on colder days as my cozy go-to.

If you’re not sure about investing in this trend, try an inexpensive, good-looking version from Target for $29.99 :

Merona® Women's Cape Sweater

The cape as a coat is a fine idea.  The military-inspired version below is from Anthropologie $198. and since this is an outerwear piece it is one way to wear the trend without having to wear it all day.

For a pop of pattern I like this oversized chevron in navy and charcoal from Anne Klein at Macy’s $229.

Who’s to say how I’ll end up going for this trend- in sweater or coat form- or if I will at all.  As a petite gal this is one style that can’t be even slightly out of proportion for me or I’ll be swallowed up in wool, but I’ve got to say I’m intrigued and the right one just might float my boat. Are you wearing a cape or poncho this season?

Propagate This!

September 20, 2012

No- this post isn’t about telling people off using plant verbiage in a clever way. {Though, if said with a New York accent and a gesticulating hand motion it does look something like a tell off!} Propagating plants is something we do around here when a plant stalk breaks and we don’t have the heart to toss it.  We’ve grown ‘new’ jade plants, begonias, trailing succulents and most often the cactus that came from my great-grandmother.  I swear, countless friends and family have a cactus begot from this prolific specimen!

{A cacti Mother & Child reunion.}

What prompted this post was a plant in mid-propagation on a woman’s desk that I walked by today at work.  She had almost lost her beloved plant when she’d taken off for vacation and it didn’t get properly watered in her absence. With a little love it could live on! I guess that’s the whole idea…here are some recently planted propagations at our house:

{In the mix here is a begonia, trailing succulent, and mystery plant!}

My father-in-law propagates pretty much every plant he has and any cuttings  he can get a hold of– he is part scientific madman and part master gardener!  We have plants and trees around our yard that have come from some of his and my mother-in-law’s.

When someone gives you a plant and you care for it throughout the years, isn’t it more precious to you over time?  We have a plant that belonged to another great-grandmother, one that a friend gave Luke’s parents when he was born, one that we brought home with us from the weekend we got engaged in Bar Harbor, one that my mom gave to me when I turned 31…we love these greenies and know when and how we got them.  It’s been fun to share them with others!

For a very simple guide to propagating, with elegant photos {like the first one on this post} click on this link to design sponge: Grow on– do it!

Radio Silence

September 18, 2012

Well, hello!  It’s been over a month since I posted– what can I say?  It’s been busy and these last bits of summer have been gorgeous, so I’ve pretty much been playing outside and have had stuff going on. Plus, I started a new job– {still in women’s apparel}. Very exciting!

Since the days have shortened and cooled off a bit I’m beginning to think of things to get done inside, like painting.  There are still rooms in our house that we haven’t painted…Geez Louise!

This shade of gold is going in the guest bedroom.  (Thanks Portia!)

Also very much on my mind are boots.  Booties and Tall pull-ons to be precise.

Wear-all-fall-long pieces like cashmere in  jewel tones and denim in an unexpectedly neutral color. (Am I ever on a mustard yellow kick?!)

Now if only I could have the closet of fashion icon Carrie Bradshaw. It was full of amazing pieces, stacked high with fabulous shoes, and served as a walk-through from her bed to bath…that girl had a good set up!

I hope all has been well with you!  Are any of you getting into the swing of the fall season yet?

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